Members of the the Church of the Redeemer in Astoria gasped when their beloved priest, Juan Andres Quevedo-Bosch, stopped service last month to deliver a triple whammy.
From the pulpit, he informed the congregation that: 1. He was gay, 2. He was divorcing his wife, and 3. He was marrying a younger man.
Chaos, confusion and outrage ensued.
“Most of the people aren’t coming anymore,” one parishioner told the New York Post. “Because he’s homosexual, people have stopped coming.”
Another parishioner said he was “puzzled” by Quevedo-Bosch’s sudden announcement because he appeared to be such a “a wonderful husband” to his wife, Adria.
As a result of the abrupt drop in attendance, Saturday services at the church have been canceled, and Wednesday’s mass is on the chopping block as few than 10 people have been showing up.
But despite the departures, some church members are standing by Quevedo-Bosch. A petition urging him to stay after he offered to resign is circulating.
Since his stunning announcement, he hasn’t been seen at the church. But he has been spotted on Facebook. Last week he announced that he and his husband were married in Los Angeles. That was followed with a picture from their honeymoon along with the caption: “I’m in Miami Beach with my new husband. God is good.”
When contacted by the Post, Quevedo-Bosch had little to say about the matter other than, “I am aware that there have been concerns regarding my divorce and subsequent remarriage and have been in touch with my bishop and my congregation about them.”
Bishop Larry Provenzano, head of the Long Island diocese, which includes the Church of the Redeemer in Astoria, told the Post, “Priests who wish to enter into same-gender marriage are approved to do so in the Episcopal Church and in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island,” adding that Quevedo-Bosch has his “full support” in whatever he chooses to do next.